Everybody knows someone who practices yoga as it has become very popular these past years. Everyone has its owns reasons for practicing: Reducing stress, having a physical activity, meditating or simply changing your mind for a while. I will not tell you about yoga history as there are several websites specialized on that topic (you will find a few links at the bottom of this post), but I will share here my own experience through the years and how it has been helping me a lot lately.
Yoga class on the beach this april 1st.
I have tried going to yoga classes for the first time when I lived in Québec city. I went to one class a week, along with friends from my work. I liked this class but, to be honest, I don’t think that I was really on it as I was mostly going there to do some exercise (which is at least something, but yet…) Then, I moved to Florida and after trying a few classes in Miami beach, I took the decision to leave it as it was too expensive for me, and also because I started to work and I could not find the time to go. I left yoga classes for 3 years. I was practicing a little bit at home every morning and I thought that it was sufficient at the time.
A few yoga postures – Source of the pic: activity shelter
Well, that was until last autumn when my personal life messed up. When I came back from France, I found out a small yoga studio that opened while I was out of Florida. All the reasons to practice yoga that I told you before are right, but, in my case, it was simply a way to save me. And this is why I wanted so much to share my experience with you, as I am certainly not the only one going through a tough time. I think that yoga is one of the solutions to help you moving forward in this kind of hard moments ( I will share the books that helped too in another post). I had the chance to find THE perfect yoga studio, the one that makes you feel home which does not happen often, right?
Alyssa is the owner and main teacher at Bend and Breathe Yoga Studio. She welcomed me one day with her big smile, and I knew pretty soon that I would like her as well as her studio. Before opening her yoga studio, Alyssa worked as a commercial. She was practicing yoga outside of work and, one day, she took the decision to leave her job to live from her passion.
The studio offers different classes taught by Alyssa, and also other great teachers named Theresa, Patricia, Mary and Val:
- Vinyasa flow: It is an active practice linked with breath.
- Hot yoga: It is similar to the vinyasa flow classes with the added bonus of infrared heaters. One of my fav!
- Chill Vinyasa: A slower spin on the vinyasa flow classes.
- Yin yoga: Seat poses held for longer periods of time.
- Chair yoga: A new class where you use a chair to maintain your postures.
You will find classes there for any level. I can tell that I have already tried all of them, even the one at 6am (and no, I am not a big fan of this schedule!).
This girl is so flexible, that’s amazing!
The main yoga room
There is also a shop on site where you will find local arts and crafts (jewels, cups, etc…), as well as yoga clothes, some teas, essential oils and other natural body creams to buy.
What makes the difference with Alyssa’s classes:
- Some essential oils (like lavender, peppermint and grapefruit, my favorite) on your wrist to relax, usually at the end of the class.
- Sometimes a short foot massage (OMG!).
- Plenty of new ideas: workshops, new classes, massages, etc… For instance, we practiced a very cool sunset yoga class on the beach this weekend! (I added a white cross on the pictures so you can find me on them).
Right now, I am still going to yoga classes 15h/week, which is honestly too much for my body as it takes a lot of energy. I have decided then to reduce my time of practice to 10h/week, and to alternate soon with another sport (such as playing tennis, biking and/or swimming).
Practicing yoga brought me a balance in my life. I am learning how to concentrate, to give the best of me, to bulk up and, simply, to regain confidence in myself and my abilities. Also, it has become a convivial place to meet and discuss with people, sometimes around a tea ( or even around a beer 😉 )
To conclude, I really think that yoga brings great benefits in daily life, as I can experience it by myself, no matter if you are fine or going through a difficult time. I would recommend it to anyone, new or confirmed yogis*
Happy Birthday to Alyssa’s studio for its 6 months of opening!
Have you ever tried yoga before?
If so, what type of yoga and did you like it?
If you live close by or if you are visiting the area, join us for a class to see if you would like it! :
Bend & Breathe Yoga Studio
1864 Radius Drive
Hollywood, FL, 33020
A few websites to learn more about yoga:
Yet to come: My top tips to practice yoga outside in Miami & around 🙂
◊ Yogi*: Student practicing yoga.
◊ Namaste*: Indian salutation that usually takes place at the end of the class (pronounced namasté).